A Wonderful Example of Windows 7 Touch Optimization

Windows 7 enthusiast Justin Campana has put together a wonderful custom interface for a fully touch-optimized environment using a combination of ObjectDock, widgets, themes, and the right applications on his ASUS Eee EP121. Beautiful.

The heart of the interface is ObjectDock, possibly the best dock application for Windows. The application dock is well-designed to keep the screen from being obnoxious with icons. The colors and themes he’s chosen give it a clean, professional look. Taskbar auto-hidden on the side has been part of my usual tablet layout for years.

The key element in his design to me is the button dock. Application docks and launchers are great for getting to applications via touch control, but getting things done in applications can be a crap shoot. By moving common commands to a dock, Justin removes some of the guess work. I realize flick gestures are also an option here, but let’s face it, buttons are just easier for most people. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work if an application launches fullscreen in a manner that goes over the dock, as seen with his Angry Birds demo.

That minor flaw aside, the effort appears both attractive and effective. I rank it well above the usual overlay approach with Windows tablets I’ve seen from various OEMs. It is somewhat regrettable pen input did not factor in to the interface since the EP121 has a dual digitizer, but between that omission and the de-emphasis on gesture control, it’s clear Justin was aiming for accessibility and intuitive control. If so, I think he nailed it. For details on how he put this all together, check out Justin’s blog, Windows 7 Touch Optimizations.


Alleged Apple fanboi, accused Android apologist, and confirmed Microsoft MVP for touch and tablet Mark Sumimoto a.k.a. Sumocat dabbles in all areas of mobile computing with a focus on Windows-based Tablet PCs and pen input. A mobile computing enthusiast since 2004, he pioneered the field of ink blogging via his personal blog, Sumocat's Scribbles. His current tools include a Fujitsu Lifebook T900, TEGA v2, and iPhone 4. Email: sumocat [at] notebooks.com


  1. Very, very nice. makes windows 7 much more tablet friendly. Will it work in both portrait and landscape? Would be nice if there was also a way to make the kinetic scrolling and pinch to zoom a more smoother experience. I like the responsiveness of the swype to hide and show the taskbar. Would be nice to see a triple tap action on the screen for the button bars. Is it possible to add more or other functions to the button bar?

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